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Session 7: #519, Side 1: “Prayer As We Must Understand It”

Session 7: #519, Side 1: “Prayer As We Must Understand It”  (1/5/19 and 1/12/19)

The Recording

This is one of three classes used as source material for Chapter 5, “Rising to Mystical Consciousness in Prayer and Treatment,” in Beyond Words and Thoughts.

While this recording is no longer available for listening on this website, if you are a subscriber to the Joel S. Goldsmith Streaming Service, you will be able to listen to it there.  The additional study material for this recording will continue to be available here on the Goldsmith Global site.

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Summary of the Class

This summary is provided simply to remind you of the content of the class.
To download or print this summary, click here.  To purchase the full transcript, click here.  

Religious prayer has always been an attempt to channel God’s grace in some way, or to have God fulfill some desire of mine.  Even though we might have a good motive, this type of prayer has always been useless.  In metaphysical prayer, instead of petitioning, begging, or sacrificing, we affirmed and denied. We gave treatments to people to heal them or make them successful; in other words, to have our will, or the will of the patient be done.  But while the form of metaphysical prayer changed, the object did not.  The goal was still that our good wishes be fulfilled; that God do our will.  So neither religious nor metaphysical prayer is real prayer.

The Master was very clear on the subject of prayer.  He taught that you are not to take thought for your life, for what you shall eat, or what you shall drink.  He said that you will become children of God not by praying for your friends, but by praying for your enemies.  He made clear that you do not pray while you are holding anybody in condemnation; that you must first make peace with your brother, and then return to the altar and “offer your gift.”  We have overlooked this idea of “offering your gift,” because we have thought of prayer as “getting,” not “giving.”

What is the nature of the gift we must give in prayer?  Each of us, in some way or other, is withholding a spiritual gift from this world, and each one must determine what they are not giving.  It might be forgiveness or praying for enemies.  It could be that while we may be kind and generous to friends and family, we do not show concern for neighbors “on the other side of the tracks.”

To understand prayer, we must empty ourselves of our former concepts of prayer.  Too few of our prayers have been answered, so there must be something wrong—not with God, but with our concept of prayer.  So it is our responsibility to make the correction within ourselves.  Emerson said that there is one mind common to all men; that every man is an inlet to it and an outlet for it.  Even before Joel knew of Emerson’s words, that same idea was the basis of his work—there is an infinite, divine Consciousness, and individual consciousness is the outlet for and the inlet to that Consciousness.  Joel saw that he could “reach back” into that infinite Consciousness and draw forth the wisdom of the ages, whether it was for healing, art, music, writing, or any other activity.  He could draw forth infinitely.

So in the Infinite Way, the first realization every student should have is that their individual consciousness is one with the Divine, the Infinite, the Omniscient, the Omnipotent, the Omnipresent.  Teachers and books can reveal this truth that you are one with the Father, and all that the Father has is yours, and they can be a bridge when you are learning to contact that infinite Source.  But, in the end, if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you.”[1]

In moving out of the old religious or metaphysical ideas of prayer, the first step is to experiment with and meditate on the idea that since I and the Father are one, and all that the Father hath is mine, I can go to the kingdom of God within me and draw forth whatever is needed.  This requires a receptivity to the truth that I have access to Infinity; that I have the “hidden manna.”  Also, we must learn to have moments of aloneness, which are our greatest asset.  Certainly we can benefit from being in groups that are truly seeking the kingdom of God and from studying books and tapes.  But we must have those periods of absolute aloneness with God, when we can see the folly of much we have learned, which must now be unlearned.

Every Infinite Way seeker must know the nature of God as it is revealed in this message, because it has been the world’s ignorance of God that has prevented it from learning how to pray aright.  When we know the nature of God, we can understand the nature of prayer.  If we recognize that God is omniscient, we will stop all attempts to reach God or impart our thought to God in any way.  If we recognize that God is omnipotent, we know that there are no other powers operating.  Yes, in the third dimension of life, material power and mental power are powers, but they are not power in the presence of realized omnipotence.  Many people suffer from the beliefs that operate in human consciousness, even though they may not even be aware of them.  These beliefs only become nothingness when you consciously realize omniscience and omnipotence.  Only then can you really rest from taking thought for your life.

After you have realized omniscience and omnipotence, you still have to realize omnipresence; that God is manifest AS you.  In human belief, we are separated from God.  Some religions have even taught that we are separated from God by our sins, and this is one of the most horrible beliefs that has ever been perpetrated on mankind.  The truth is that God has no awareness of sin.  A lapse from purity or the return to it never takes place in the divine consciousness, just as if you forget that twelve times twelve is one hundred and forty-four and then remember it again, no error takes place in mathematics itself.  God, infinite divine consciousness, has never fallen into an awareness of human good and evil.  God will never know whether you forgive or pray for your enemies.  God is not a human parent who can be pleased or displeased.  God has no awareness of your sins.  God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Then why be good?  For oneself, not for God; for what it means to live in spiritual consciousness, to be spiritually fed and clothed and housed

So break yourself of the belief that God is a human being and has human motives.  While you may take pity on the starving Chinese, or the people behind the Iron Curtain, or animals slaughtered for medical research or food, God does not, because all of that is taking place in “this world,” not in God’s kingdom.  Stop humanizing God, and know God as infinite, divine, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent consciousness—the consciousness of you and of me.

This does not make of God a cold God.  What makes God cold is the belief that God has the power to correct the evils of the world and isn’t doing it!  You will experience God as warm and loving once you can acknowledge that if you were living in God consciousness, there would be none of these sins, diseases, lacks, limitations; that if you were in the kingdom of God, no such discords would come nigh your dwelling place.

We do not experience God’s warmth while we are out in the world, wanting our will to be done.  But this does not mean that we do not work in the marketplace.  On the contrary, living in God-consciousness makes working in the marketplace successful.  Joel was in the marketplace dealing with publishers, hotels, income, taxes, and book production.  The greater his spiritual activity, the greater was his commercial activity.  But by living in the realization that “I have access to the Infinite Invisible” and by not personalizing it or using it for selfish purposes, he was in the marketplace and his needs were abundantly met.

We can separate “My kingdom” from “this world,” but when we speak of “this world,” we must remember that we are not talking about the business world, government, the arts, the professions, or even marriage.  All of those are parts of My kingdom, because “My kingdom is on earth as it is in heaven.”  When we speak of “this world,” we are talking about the misconceptions of life that we entertain, and the wrong motives that may influence us.  “My kingdom” is a state of consciousness, and the consciousness with which you face your everyday life determines whether you are living in “My kingdom” or ‘this world.”

Someday children will be born into My kingdom, because they will be born of parents who are living in the consciousness that God is infinite, divine, omnipresent consciousness, and that because God consciousness is my consciousness, I can turn within and draw forth infinity.  A child conceived by such parents is not the product of humans, but the expression of God coming into form.

Every spiritual idea taking place in your consciousness right now is affecting your children, because they are in your consciousness and are receptive to what is in your consciousness.  If you are living in My kingdom, loving your neighbor as yourself, forgiving, understanding, sharing, and giving, that is what your children are absorbing.  If you are living in fear, selfishness, and hate, your children are absorbing that.  When your children are no longer under your influence, they will have a mind of their own and can throw off any evil influence that might have been handed to them.  And, even if a child that was brought up under a spiritual influence wanders away from it, eventually they come back to it.

So remember that regardless of your sins, God has never held you in condemnation, never withheld anything from you or separated Himself from you.  Once you have that awareness, you will be closer to an understanding of God and of prayer.

Watch that you do not enter into prayer with desires, wishes or hopes.  Scripture says, Thy grace is my sufficiency in all things.”[2]  So have no desire beyond receiving grace, illumination, spiritual presence.  Seek the kingdom of God, God’s grace, God’s love.  Do not seek that God loves you, but seek that God’s love flow through you.

If you want to pray for another, it is natural that they will come into your thought.  But you must push them out, recognizing that there is not God’s grace for one and not for another.  God’s grace falls on the just and on the unjust.  Spiritual prayer is a realization that every individual is God’s grace Itself, God’s presence Itself.  To see each other humanly is to look through the eyes and judge by human standards, and this is not prayer.  The prayer of grace is to look through the appearance and realize the spiritual nature of individual being and the universe.  Any attempt to improve, cure, enrich, or employ a human is a waste of time.  Prayer is not an activity of the human mind, and has nothing to do with human desires, wishes, or fulfillments. Prayer is a spiritual activity that takes place within your consciousness—if you have a listening ear.  The only part that a human being plays in prayer is the degree of receptivity that enables the Spirit of God to bear witness with their spirit and lift them up into the kingdom of God.

So in prayer, we first know the truth, and then we settle down into stillness.  There is a transcendental Presence and Power that does the work, and our good will is not going to enable us to help each other.  We must rise above the activity of the mind and commune with this transcendental Presence and Power.  Then in the invisible realm, something takes place that reveals harmony.  Since there is only one consciousness, we are not separated from one another by time or space.  We are one in that infinite divine consciousness, which is Omniscience, Omnipotence, and Omnipresence.

[1] John 16:7
[2] 2 Corinthians 12:9

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Additional Offerings

In this class,  Joel emphasizes that our understanding of prayer depends on our understanding of the nature of God.  He says, “It has been the world’s ignorance of God that has prevented it from learning how to pray aright.  When we know the nature of God, we can understand the nature of prayer.”  Joel presents this same theme frequently in his writings and classes.  We have provided two excerpts from the writings that elaborate on this theme.  To view, download or print these, click here.